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Legislation Directs USDA to Protect Consumers from Pathogens on Meat and Poultry

Statement of CSPI Food Safety Director Caroline Smith DeWaal

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The USDA has responsibility to make sure meat and poultry processors are held accountable for producing safe products. So consumers may be surprised to learn these businesses can legally market chicken and meat carrying antibiotic-resistant Salmonella even when those contaminated products are clearly making people sick. We have watched incredulously for over a year as consumers got sick, and sometimes were hospitalized, because the agency that is supposed to protect them from dangerously contaminated meat or poultry believes it is powerless to do anything about the situation.

CSPI believes USDA could act now to declare dangerous strains of antibiotic-resistant Salmonella to be adulterants. But since the agency claims it doesn't have that authority, thePathogen Reduction and Testing Reform Act introduced today would remove any shadow of a doubt, and keep these particularly dangerous strains of bacteria out of the food supply.

We are grateful for the continued leadership of Representatives Louise Slaughter and Rosa DeLauro on this and other matters concerning the safety of our food. 

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Contact Jeff Cronin (jcronin[at]cspinet.org) or Ariana Stone (astone[at]cspinet.org).